Monday, April 12, 2010

Brody's Journal... Chris Colfer Hopes Gay Teens Identify With Glee Character

Chris Colfer   Photo Courtesy Of Fox Television  

By Brody Levesque (Bethesda, Maryland) Apr 12 | As the hit television series Glee returns tomorrow night at 9.30pm on Fox, one of its cast who portrays an openly Gay character admitted that he hopes Gay teens can identify with his character.
In a conference call from Los Angeles with British & American Entertainment reporters, Chris Colfer the 19-year-old actor who plays the character of Kurt Hummel on the musical comedy, said that he has received a lot of fan mail from viewers over his portrayal.
"I definitely hope so. I decided to play him the way I do because there are a lot of over-the-top flamboyant loud characters like Kurt on TV," he said. "I grew up in a small conservative town so I didn't know a lot of people like that, so that's why I decided to play him that way. I have so many letters and messages and fan mail. People are relieved to see someone being honest with who they are."
Colfer was born in Fresno, CA in 1990, and grew up in nearby Clovis, a small town in the San Joaquin Valley. Colfer’s parents, both of whom supported his dream of becoming an entertainer, first noticed his natural-born talent after he played Snoopy in a local theater production at the age of eight. He was involved with many extra-curricular activities and belonged to several clubs at Clovis East High School, where he wrote and directed “Shirley Todd,” a spoof of the classic musical “Sweeney Todd.” Still, his creativity and love for theater made Colfer an outcast at his high school, where he told reporters the cafeteria room workers his closest friends.
When Ryan Murphy was casting for “Glee,” a series about a high school choral group and the struggles of its socially outcast members to fit in, fall in love, and sing their hearts out. Colfer belted out a rendition of “Mr. Cellophane” from “Chicago” that he rehearsed with his grandmother. 
He did not get the role he tried out for – that of the guitar-playing, wheelchair-bound glee club member Artie (Kevin McHale) – but instead was cast as the witty and fashionable member Kurt Hummel (his name was inspired by Kurt Von Trapp from 1965’s “The Sound of Music” and Hummel porcelain figurines). Murphy wanted to have a gay character in the series but did not want to exploit the character, so he turned to the young actor to inject his own unique personality. Colfer told Reed Johnson from The Los Angeles Times he wanted to make the character of Kurt witty and confident rather than overly flamboyant.